As we all know the St. Louis Cardinals have had the luxury of having eight time All-Star Yadier Molina handle the catching for the past 14 seasons. Molina's resume doesn't just include All-Star appearances but it also features eight Gold Glove awards, four Platinum gloves, a Silver Slugger award, and two World Series Championships. Molina who turned 35 years old in early July was set to become a free agent after this season. The Cardinals resolved that future problem by signing him through the year of 2020 right before the season began. Molina will likely finish his stellar career when this contract is up since he will be 37 years old. It was important for both the Cardinals and Molina to get that deal done since Molina wants to stay in St. Louis his whole career.
For some people the contract extension of Yadier Molina raised some eyebrows. The surprising aspect of this deal is that top catching prospect, Carson Kelly, will have to continue to wait his turn backstage behind Molina. According to MLB Pipeline, Carson Kelly is the Cardinals second ranked prospect and the second ranked catching prospect in the whole league. Kelly is still young at 23 years of age, but he seems ready to play go and contribute to the Cardinals right now. Kelly plays strong defense behind the plate and has an above average arm. Carson Kelly's hitting is still a work in progress but has greatly improved. Kelly is a career .253 hitter in the minors and has hit .283 with 10 homers in AAA this year.
Just last week Carson Kelly received the call up to join the Cardinals. Appearing in four games Kelly is off to a sluggish start at the plate hitting 1-9 but has managed to throw out a what would be base stealer.
Yadier Molina has done so much for the Cardinals organization on and off the field, most of which does not go in the stat book. The fans in St. Louis absolutely love Molina and view him as one of their prized possessions. After all the MLB is a business and it will be interesting to see if the Cardinals front office and Carson Kelly want to wait another three years for Kelly to become the Cardinals next great catcher.